Faculty and Staff

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences includes 20 full-time faculty. In addition to the regular faculty, there are several research professors and other research associates and staff scientists in the Department and the affiliated Institute of Meteoritics. A number of post-doctoral fellows and visiting scientists are also present at any given time, and our many adjunct professors also contribute to the expertise available to students.

The faculty and research staff maintain an active program of research, collectively producing an average of more than 200 publications per year, and contracts and grants that range from $3 to $5 million annually. Faculty research is coupled with a strong commitment to teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The interests of the faculty are varied, and students participate closely with faculty in classes, seminars, in the field, and in their research. A synopsis of the research interests is given below, along with links to more detailed pages for each faculty member which include lists of recent publications.

Department Chair: Dr. Peter Fawcett


Carl B. Agee, Professor and Director of Institute of Meteortics, Ph.D., Columbia University, 1988.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 313-B; 505-400-6434. agee@unm.edu.
Origin and evolution of planetary interiors. High-pressure multi-anvil techniques applied to problems in experimental petrology. Magma physics with emphasis on mobility of silicate and metallic liquids at high pressure. Experimental trace element partitioning studies to elucidate the differentiation of the Earth, Moon, and Mars.
Yemane Asmerom, Professor; Director, Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory, Ph.D., University of Arizona, .
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 312-B; 277-4434. asmerom@unm.edu
Geochemistry. Research interests in applications of radiogenic isotopes (U-Series, Nd-Sr-Pb-Hf) for the study of the solid earth, oceans and climate through time.
Adrian J. Brearley, Professor; Director, Transmission Electron Microscope Laoboratories, Ph.D., University of Manchester, Great Britain, 1984.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 206; 277-1641 or 277-4163. brearley@unm.edu
Petrology and Mineralogy. Research interests in petrology and mineralogy of meteorites, cosmochemistry, mechanisms and kinetics of high pressure phase transformations, experimental mineralogy, metamorphic petrology and electron microscopy.
Laura J. Crossey, Professor, Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 1985.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 141; 277-1641. lcrossey@unm.edu
Aqueous and Sedimentary Geochemistry; chemical hydrology. Applications of low-temperature geochemistry to problems in hydrochemistry, sedimentary diagenesis, and geomicrobiology. Activities include geoscience outreach, K-12 outreach, and science education research as well as programs to increase the participation of under-represented groups in the science disciplines.
Maya Elrick, Professor, Ph.D., Virginia Tech., 1990.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 227; 277-5077. dolomite@unm.edu
Carbonate Stratigraphy-Sedimentology. Research interests in marine to marginal marine sedimentary deposits and how they record short- to long-term paleoceanographic, paleoclimatic, eustatic, and tectonic events in Earth history.
Peter J. Fawcett, Professor and Chair, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University, 1994.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 220; 277-3867. fawcett@unm.edu
Paleoclimatology and sedimentology. Research interests in long-term evolution of the climate system and understanding patterns of past global change; Quaternary paleoclimatology; and climatic influences on sedimentation.
Tobias P. Fischer, Professor; Director, Volatiles Laboratory, Ph.D., Arizona State University, 1999.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 316B. fischer@unm.edu
Volcanology with emphasis on active volcanism, volatiles in magmas and compositions of volcanic emissions.
Joseph Galewsky, Associate Professor, Ph.D. University of California Santa Cruz, 1996.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 222; Phone: 277-2361; galewsky@unm.edu
Interactions between meteorological and land surface processes; climate dynamics; orographic precipitation.
David S. Gutzler, Professor, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986.
Office:Northrop Hall Rm. 210; 277-3328. gutzler@unm.edu
Climatology; Meteorology. Research interests include data analysis and modeling of interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and land surfaces; climatic variability of Southwestern North America; predictability of climate on seasonal-to-interannual time scales.
Karl E. Karlstrom, Professor, Ph.D., Wyoming, 1981.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 205; 277-4346.kek1@unm.edu
Structural Geology and Tectonics. Research interests in field-based studies of rock deformation and lithospheric evolution: Growth, assembly, and disassembly of continental lithosphere, middle crustal processes, and neotectonics.
Leslie D. McFadden Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1982.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 216; 277-6121. lmcfadnm@unm.edu
Quaternary Geology. Research interests include: studies of soil development in arid and semiarid regions; applications of soil studies to geomorphology, paleoclimate, environmental research, and Geohazard evaluation.
Grant A. Meyer Professor, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1993.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 214; 277-5384. gmeyer@unm.edu
Research interests in hillslopes and fluvial systems; climatic, tectonic and environmental geomorphology; Quaternary geology and ecosystem processes.
Corinne Myers Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2013.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 226. cemyers@unm.edu
Research interests in paleobiology, paleobiogeography/paleoecology, macroevolution, application of ecological niche modeling to the deep time fossil record. Research focuses on teasing apart the contribution of abiotic environmental vs. biotic factors in driving biogeographic and macroevolutionary patterns in the history of life. 
Aurora Pun, Lecturer III, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 1996.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 232C; 277-5629. apun@unm.edu
Planetary and meteorite geochemistry, planetary igneous systems, and science education.
Brandon Schmandt, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Oregon, 2011.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 204. bschmandt@unm.edu
Research Areas: Geophysics. Research interests are rooted in observational seismology, with a primary focus on resolving Earth’s seismic properties to gain insight into the evolving structure of tectonic plates and the convective processes that occur beneath the plates.
Louis Anthony Scuderi, Professor, Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1984.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 315. tree@unm.edu
Research Areas: Paleoclimatic reconstructions utilizing dendrochronology, climatology, geographic Information Systems (GIS), image processing, global positioning systems (GPS), creation and analysis of historical and paleoclimatic databases.
Zachary D. Sharp, Distinguished Professor; Director, Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI), Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1987.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 337. zsharp@unm.edu
Geochemist. Stable isotope geochemistry, with application to paleoclimate reconstruction, metamorphic & igneous petrology and structural geology.
Mel Strong, Lecturer III, Ph.D., University of New Mexico, 2011.
Office: Science Math Learning Center (SMLC), B72, 277-0257mstrong@unm.edu
Planetary and meteorite geochemistry, planetary igneous systems, and science education.
Gary S. Weissmann, Professor, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 1999.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 204; 277-3636. weissman@unm.edu
Hydrogeology, sedimentology, and basin analysis. Research focuses on a basin analysis approach to characterizing and modeling groundwater flow and contaminant transport.
Lindsay Lowe Worthington, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 2010.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 2xx; 512 779-4565. lworthington@unm.edu
Geophysics, active-source seismology, applications to structural geology and tectonics. Research focuses on subsurface imaging of the Earth’s crust in order to understand geologic processes such as mountain-building and feedback between surface processes and tectonics. Current projects include imaging the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming and looking at the offshore record of glacial climate transitions in the Gulf of Alaska.
Jin Zhang, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne, 2014.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 306C; 277-1607. jinzhang@unm.edu
Experimental Petrology and Mineralogy. My main research interests are understanding the Earth and other planets in terms of their internal structures, composition, and dynamics through high pressure(P)-temperature(T) laboratory experiments. 

(Return to Index)

Research Professors

Horton Newsom, Research Professor and Senior Research Scientist III (Inst. of Meteoritics), Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1981.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 306-D; 277-0375. Fax: 277-3577. newsom@unm.edu
Geochemistry. Co-investigator and science team member for the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory; research interests include understanding the origin and evolution of planetary bodies, including planets, moons and asteroids, geological effects of impact cratering on the Earth and Mars including hydrothermal and atmospheric effects, weathering and soil formation on Mars, and educational outreach initiatives in K-12 science teaching.
Robert C. Reedy, Research Professor, Ph.D., Columbia University.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 308D; 277-0030. rreedy@unm.edu
Planetary and space scientist working on elemental remote sensing of planetary surfaces and on cosmogenic nuclides.
Frans J.M. Rietmeijer, Research Faculty Professor, Ph.D., Rijksuniversiteit-Utrecht, Netherlands, 1979.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 223-B; 277-5733. fransjmr@unm.edu
Petrology and Mineralogy  -  Research interests in dust of extraterrestrial origin that are interplanetary dust particles and comet Wild 2 dust, and of analog dust produced in non-equilibrium vapor phase condensation experiments.
Charles K. Shearer, Jr., Research Professor and Senior Research Scientist III (Institute of Meteoritics), Ph.D., University of Massachusetts, 1983.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 306-B; 277-9159. cshearer@unm.edu
Geochemistry and Crystal Chemistry. Research interests in trace element behavior in magmatic systems with an emphasis on the crystal chemistry of silicates, planetary basaltic magmatism, granite generation and evolution.
Karen Ziegler, Associate Research Professor and Senior Research Scientist III (Inst. of Meteoritics), Ph.D., Geochemistry, Postgraduate Research Institute for Sedimentology (PRIS), University of Reading/UK, 1993.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 3xx; 505 920-6640. Fax: 277-3577. kziegler@unm.edu
Stable isotope planetary- and cosmochemistry applied to meteoritics, early Solar System evolution, planetary accretion and differentiation, and Earth's core formation (in particular O and Si stable isotopes). Novel isotope systems and analytical techniques - to understand in more details the processes controlling distribution and cycling of elements in planets. 

(Return to Index)

Research Scientists

Abdul-Mehdi S. Ali, Senior Research Scientist I, Analytical Chemistry Laboratory Manager, Ph.D.,University of Arizona, 1989.
Office: Northrop Hall, Rm. 213 (505) 277-1637. Email: mehdiali@unm.edu
Analytical Chemistry and Chemistry Laboratory Management with research interests in the application of analytical chemistry to problems related to environmental contamination and remediation.
Nicu-Viorel Atudorei, Research Scientist III; Lab Manager, Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI), Ph.D., University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1998.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 225C; 277-0742. atudorei@unm.edu
Stable isotope geochemistry. Research interests in stable isotope geochemistry of sediments and sedimentary rocks and their applications to stratigraphy, sedimentology, paleocenography and paleoclimatology.
Elena Dobrica, Research Scientist I; TEM Laboratory, Ph.D., University Paris Sud, 2010.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 221A; 277-4204. edobrica@unm.edu
Materials science, mineralogy, cosmochemistry.
Victor J. Polyak, Senior Research Scientist, Ph.D. Texas Tech University, 1998.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 312-C; polyak@unm.edu
Speleology - the study of caves. Speleogenesis, the origin of caves, and how it relates to the geologic history of regions such as the Delaware Basin and Grand Canyon. The origin of clay minerals in caves and its relation to the geologic history of those caves. Carbonate petrography of speleothems.
Michael N. Spilde, Research Scientist III (Institute of Meteoritics); Manager, Electron Microbe Laboratory, M.S., South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, 1987.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 317; 277-5430. mspilde@unm.edu
Mineralogy, Petrology, Electron Microscopy. Research interests in planetary igneous systems.

(Return to Index)

Faculty Emeritus and Emerita

Roger Y. AndersonProfessor Emeritus, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1960.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 317. Email: ryand@unm.edu
Sedimentology and Paleoclimate. Research interests in paleoclimatic investigations using varved sediments including evaporites; sedimentation processes in lakes and ocean systems using automated traps; evaporite genesis including petrology, stratigraphy and dissolution effects.
Michael E. CampanaProfessor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Arizona, 1975.
Presently at Oregon State University. aquadoc@oregonstate.edu
Hydrogeology, hydrophilanthropy, and water resources management. Research interests: Transboundary groundwater resources; integrated water resources management; water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) in developing regions; regional hydrogeology; science-policy interface.
Rodney C. Ewing, Regents Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., Stanford University, 1974.
Mineralogy, geochemistry and materials science of nuclear materials, particularly radiation damage effects in minerals and materials. Rod was an active member of the UNM faculty from 1974 to 1997.  He is presently the Frank Stanton Professor in Nuclear Security and a professor in the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford University.
John W. GeissmanProfessor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1980.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 225C. jgeiss@unm.edu
Paleomagnetics and Geophysics. Research interests in tectonics and paleomagnetism of North America (Western Cordillera and Precambrian provinces); rock magnetism and relations to igneous and sedimentary processes.
Rhian H. Jones, Professor Emerita, Ph.D., University of Manchester, Great Britain, 1986.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 341; 277-5339. rjones@unm.edu
Petrology and Mineralogy. Research interests in mineralogy and petrology of meteorites, particularly chondrites. Experimental investigation of mineralogical and petrological problems related to meteorites and terrestrial rocks.
Barry S. KuesProfessor Emeritus, Ph.D., Indiana University, 1974.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 148; 277-3626. bkues@unm.edu
Paleontology. Research interests in the evolution of Pennsylvanian and Permian marine communities in the Southwest, and regional biogeography and variation in Cretaceous marine faunas.
James J. Papike, Research Professor; Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Minnesota, 1964. Office: Northrop Hall Rm. B-19; 277-1646. Fax: 277-3577. jpapike@unm.edu
Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry. Research interests in planetary materials and processes; trace element geochemistry of the rock-forming minerals.
Jane Selverstone, Professor Emerita, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1985.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 225-AB. selver@unm.edu
Metamorphic Petrology. Research interests in interactions between tectonic and metamorphic processes; reconstruction of pressure-temperature time-deformation histories of orogenic belts; fluid inclusions as indicators of faulting; fluid-rock interactions in high-pressure metamorphic belts.
Lee A. Woodward, Professor Emeritus, Ph.D., University of Washington, 1962.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 125.
Structural Geology and Tectonics. Research interests in development of the Cordilleran overthrust belt and Rocky Mountain foreland; tectonics as applied to mineral exploration.

(Return to Index)

Adjunct Faculty

Sid Ash Adjunct Professor; Ph.D. Reading University, U.K., 1966.
Research interests are Mesozoic Stratigraphy and Paleobotony. Currently investigating the stratigraphy and land flora of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation and the Dockum Group in the southwestern United States.
Mark Boslough, Adjunct Professor, Ph.D., Applied Physics, CalTech, 1983. Member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories. 
Research interests in physics, geophysics and computerscience with applications to planetary defense, climate change, climatology, and nuclear weapons effects.
Fraser E. Goff, Adjunct Professor, Ph.D. University of California, Santa Cruz, 1977. Phone: (505) 662-0805 candf@swcp.com
Carol Hill, Adjunct Lecturer III, M.S., Geology, University of New Mexico, 1978.
Francis M. McCubbin Research Assistant Professor, Senior Research Scientist III (Institute of Meteoritics), and High Pressure Lab Manager; Ph.D. Stony Brook University, 2009.
Office: Northrop Hall Rm. 306C; 277-1607. fmccubbi@unm.edu
Research Areas: Experimental petrology and mineralogy, igneous petrology, crystal chemistry, determination of magmatic volatile abundances in planetary systems, hydrothermal systems on planetary bodies, planetary differentiation on the terrestrial planets and asteroids.
Duane M. "Dewey" Moore, Illinois State Geological Survey (Retired), Ph.D., Univ. of Illinois - Urbana, 1962.
Office: Northrop Hall B-27 (inside XRD Lab), Phone: 277-9259. Email: dewey33@unm.edu.
Clay Mineralogy and X-Ray Diffraction
Chester 'Chet' Weiss Adjunct Professor, Ph.D. in Geophysics at Texas A&M University, 1998. Member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories with research interests in computational geophysics and electromagnetic geophysics. cjweiss@unm.edu
Charlotte Rowe, Ph.D., New Mexico Institute of Mining & Technology, 2000.
Volcano seismology, seismic waveform classification, precise earthquake location and geophysical modeling; geothermal microseismicity; Alaska seismology; glacier seismicity.

(Return to Index)

Support and Administrative Staff

Chris Anderson, Research Engineer 2          
Northrop Hall Rm B18; 277-2734; Email: canderson53@unm.edu
Mabel T. Chavez, Editorial Tech
Northrop Hall Rm 141; 277-8680, Email: mabelc@unm.edu
Shannon Clark, Program Coordinator, Institute of Meteoritics
Northrop Hall Rm 313A; 277-1644, Email: skclark@unm.edu
Gilbert E. Griego, Harding Mine Maintenance Tech
Dixon, New Mexico; Email: gilgriego@windstream.net
Cindy Jaramillo, Administrative Assistant II
Northrop Hall Rm 141; 277-1635, Email: epsdept@unm.edu
Faith Mutchnik, Accountant
Northrop Hall Rm 141; 277-3546, Email: fmutchnik@unm.edu
Paula Pascetti, EPS Department Adminstrator
Northrop Hall Rm 141; 277-1633, Email: pascetti@unm.edu

(Return to Index)